Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
At Wallands Community Primary and Nursery School, we provide a high-quality EYFS education giving children a secure and confident start to their school life. We are committed to nurturing a lifelong love of learning alongside the aims of the EYFS statutory framework. We strive for high standards, consider the development of the whole child and seek to foster resilience and independence.
We aim to provide the essential knowledge and skills that children need to prepare them for their future success and to give children the best possible start to their early education. We focus on the development of language and increasing vocabulary throughout the children’s time in the EYFS.
We provide inviting classroom environments indoors and outdoors to stimulate learners and engage them in developing the three ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ as set out within the EYFS.
Our EYFS curriculum encompasses our school motto; ‘Happy Together, Learning Forever’
We carefully plan our EYFS curriculum to ensure we:
- Foster a love of learning which inspires curiosity;
- Provide experiences of awe and wonder;
- We encourage children to take risk within a safe environment and provide opportunities for children to engage in these;
- Ensure all children have access to high quality learning opportunities;
- Provide parents/carers with the opportunity to develop their child’s learning at home;
- Develop knowledge and understanding of the community and wider world.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. Our Early Years Foundation Stage accommodates children from the age of 3 to 5 years.
The Wallands EYFS curriculum has been written in accordance with the latest version of the ‘Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)’ (September 2021). The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are important and interconnected:
- Communication and language.
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Physical development.
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
However, the first three areas in the list above, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
At Wallands high priority is given to the teaching of reading. We aim to teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at Wallands, and books are used to enhance our whole curriculum. We follow a systematic approach to phonics teaching based on the Sounds Write Phonics scheme. See Wallands Community Primary and Nursery Reading Policy for more information.
We underpin our curriculum with personal, social and emotional development for all our children. We strive to enable children to be safe, happy, confident individuals. We also encourage self-regulation and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour and reflection time. We teach the children the Wallands values, focusing on: Aspiration, Responsibility, Pride, Cooperation, Resilience and Kindness. These values underpin our curriculum throughout Nursery and Reception, and then continue through the school.
Teaching and Learning
The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are incorporated into our curriculum.
Playing and exploring - children have opportunities to investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’. Through play, our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
Active learning - children have time and space to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements. Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence, they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.
Creating and thinking critically - we encourage and support children to have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Our curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge to enable them to reach the seventeen Early Learning Goals described in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We teach through a range of teaching methods including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, group teaching, investigations and problem solving together, and children learning independently. Many activities are play-based and there are also direct teacher-led activities to ensure children gain essential knowledge and skills. All activities are expertly modelled and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise them.
We recognise that parents/carers are children’s first educators and we value having positive relationships with you in your child’s education through:
- Making contact with parents/carers before your child starts school at our parent induction sessions and through welcome packs;
- Inviting parents/carers and children to attend an induction evening;
- Inviting the children for transition events at school;
- Inviting parents to phonic and reading workshops/ lesson observations to see how your children are learning and how you can support them;
- Operating an open-door policy for parents/carers with any queries or concerns.
- Sharing photos, updates and ‘wow moments’ on Tapestry and Class Dojo (our online communication and home learning platforms);
- Offering two, parent-teacher consultation meetings per year to discuss your child’s progress and wellbeing;
- Sending a written report on your child’s attainment, progress and attitude at the end of their time in Nursery and Reception;
- Parents are invited to a range of activities throughout the school year such as Autumn Day, workshops, Christmas productions and sports day etc.
Starting school can be an exciting but also challenging time for young children; we therefore plan this time carefully to support children with the transition and to ensure it is as smooth as possible for each child and that they settle in to their new class quickly and happily.
We have a tried and tested induction programme which includes:
- An induction programme for children starting in Nursery, where children initially attend with a parent/carer, then attend for a short period independently and then build up to a longer session;
- A Harbour programme throughout the year where Nursery and Reception children spend time in the different classrooms and learning environments;
- An induction session for parents so that teachers can get to know parents and carers and ask about the individual children. The teacher gives parents practical information about the ethos of the school, vision and values, information about equipment and uniform needed;
- ‘Stay and Plays’ in the summer term so that the children can get to know the teachers and school staff with their parent present;
- A home visit for children new to Nursery and Reception. An individual meeting at the beginning of the Autumn term for children starting Reception, who have previously been in our Nursery;
- In Reception a gradual introduction to the school day. Children initially do mornings, then mornings and a lunchtime. This introduces the children to their new routines and this enables children to be less overwhelmed.